Limited thermal transport in rippled graphene induced by bi-axial strain for thermoelectric applications

KH Park and U Ravaioli, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 122, 025115 (2017).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4993911

Among efforts made to improve thermoelectric efficiency, the use of structurally modified graphene nanomaterials as thermoelectric matter are one of the promising strategies owing to their fascinating physical and electrical properties, and these materials are anticipated to be less thermally conductive than regular graphene structures, as a result of an additional phonon scattering introduced at the modified surfaces. In this study, we explore the thermal conductivity behaviors of strain- induced rippled graphene sheets by varying the ripple amplitude, periodicity, and dimensions of the structure. We introduce a technique which enables creation of a graphene sheet with evenly distributed ripples in molecular dynamics simulation, and the Green-Kubo linear response theory is used to calculate the thermal conductivity of the structures of interest. The results reveal the reduction of thermal conductivity with the greater degree of strain, the smaller system dimension, and the shorter ripple wavelength, which, in turn, could lead to the thermoelectric efficiency enhancement. This work has significance in that it presents the capability of generating repeated and controllable patterns in molecular dynamics, and so, it enables the atomic-level transport study in the regularly patterned two-dimensional surface or in any structures with a specified degree of strain. Published by AIP Publishing.

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